CANMORE – Canada’s top biathlon team added new guns to its leadership core.
Earlier this month, Biathlon Canada announced Andrew Chisholm and Helene Jørgensen were named new national team coaches, whose goals include overall consistency in training and performance and striving for podiums with the country's world cup and IBU Cup athletes.
“This coaching staff, I’m really excited to work with them and I’m excited to work with this team,” said Chisholm. “I think that we’re all really motivated to try and get the most that we can out of all these athletes.
“I think that’s the message we’re trying to bring, as well, is that we’re here to go fight with those guys.”
The new coaches join Justin Wadsworth, who’s been head coach of the senior national team since 2019.
“They both bring unique skill sets to our staff,” said Biathlon Canada CEO, Heather Ambery, in a media release. “We believe they will not only impact the athletes on the senior national team, but they will also have a significant, positive influence on the entire Canadian biathlon system.”
The coaching trio bring different specialties to the table for the program – Wadsworth is a cross-country skiing expert, Chisholm’s strength is in precision shooting, and Jørgensen brings a strong sports psychology and PhD in personal development in elite sport environments. All the pieces of a foundation for future success are in place, said Chisholm.
“We fill in each other's gaps, but we’re also trying to bring each other up in the areas we might not be as strong, so we’re playing off each other's strengths,” he said.
“I don’t wanna promise podiums or anything like that, ‘cause I think you’re crazy if you try to predict results like that, but I think that we’re gonna start seeing improvements over season after season. I think you finally kind of have some long-term vision for this team, so we can start building off those successes instead of having these ebbs and flows and waves of inconsistencies. I think it’s gonna be really good moving forward.”
Chisholm’s extensive background in biathlon dates back to 2003 when he started the sport at age 11. In 2009, he moved to Canmore from Calgary to pursue the sport competitively full-time and climbed as high as the IBU Cup before calling it quits in 2015. Chisholm transitioned to coaching at his old club, Foothills Nordic, and then landed an assistant coaching position with Biathlon Alberta Training Centre (BATC) in Canmore. During the same time, he started ski waxing for Biathlon Canada. Last winter, he had the opportunity of being the interim world cup team coach.
Jørgensen is a Norwegian-born biathlete who moved to Canada in 2015 to complete a Masters and PhD in coaching studies and sport psychology at the University of Alberta. While pursuing her studies, she actively coached biathlon at Edmonton Nordic Ski Club. In 2022-23, she started as an assistant coach of the BATC.